AzCASE Statement of Equity

For more than two decades, the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence has worked to promote accessible, high-quality expanded learning opportunities for all Arizona children and youth by focusing on professional development, advocacy, and capacity building in the out-of-school time community.

We will not be silent in the face of the murder of George Floyd and others, at the hands of the police, nor will we be silent in the face of the systemic racism that threatens the lives of Americans every day.

We believe in equality and opportunity for all. We believe that a commitment to social justice requires us to value our collective diversity and commit to challenging injustice while simultaneously advocating on behalf of those who have the least.

We believe that access to high-quality afterschool, summer, and expanded learning opportunities is essential for closing the opportunity gap and challenging inequity.

We believe that providing high-quality, safe and welcoming programs is essential to allow all children to reach their full potential. A high-quality program is one that is a living organism, growing and adapting to meet the needs of all youth.

One of the seven key principles within the AzCASE Quality Standards is our commitment to Equity and Inclusion: Youth thrive in the program regardless of their background, including but not limited to race, color, religion, sex, income level, national origin, physical, mental and learning ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity and expression.

Through our quality work and ongoing professional development of Arizona OST educators, we have contributed to our state’s intentional addressing of issues of equity and inclusion. We are committed to helping afterschool, summer, and expanded learning programs strengthen their practice through capacity building and training.

To support the Arizona OST field, we engage in the promotion of high-quality programs, staff development, sharing of resources around a wide variety of issues related to diversity and equity, and disseminate current, relevant research to enable programs to create safe and caring environments.

We will continue to work with state and local organizations to help frame policy and engage in advocacy to ensure that providers are intentionally supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion.